Melody Shee is pregnant and alone. Her husband, Pat, left her when she told him about her affair. But even he doesn’t know the truth. Melody doesn’t dare tell anyone that she slept with 17 year-old Martin Toppy. She was supposed to be teaching him to read and write.
Melody doesn’t know what to do. She is angry; at Pat and at the world, but mostly at herself. How has she ended up like this? She has no-one to turn to except her Dad, but she doesn’t want to break his heart. Other people have friends, but not Melody.
Enter Mary Crothery, a young Traveller woman who has a way of seeing through the walls Mary has built around herself. As an unlikely friendship is formed, Melody finds herself being drawn to into the Travelling community more and more. She cares about what happens to Melody. She also cares about what happens to Martin, despite everything that has happened. Or maybe because of it, she’s not really sure.
Ryan has a great way with the Irish dialect that draws you in and makes his exploration of rural communities in contemporary Ireland a joy to read. His prose is lyrical, yet concise. At less than 200 pages, All We Shall Know packs an emotional punch.
All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan is published by Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers and part of the Penguin Random House group and is available and hardback and ebook format.